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Minaret College Officer Campus Officer, VIC

Conceptually the design brings together Islamic culture, senior years education and Minaret College’s vision, within the metropolitan growth context of Melbourne’s south-eastern perimeter. The school’s desire to create an Islamic atmosphere for its students, staff and broader Muslim community also required an architectural response that acknowledged the ethnic diversity of Islamic backgrounds within the school itself (the school is represented by over 40 countries of origin). This response was therefore about ‘atmosphere’ rather than the direct use of more predictable Islamic motifs, achieved through screened metalwork, pendant lighting, filtered natural light, and occasional ‘indirect’ patterning. The predominant use of screening, while also benefitting the building in relation to solar protection and internal amenity, brings into play the inherent values of ‘privacy’, ‘modesty’ and ‘personal reflection’ – espoused by the school’s educative culture.

The design consolidates and focuses on the existing campus plan, and the life of the school within, but also builds a new public face to the broader Muslim community, and the emerging context of outer suburban Melbourne. This new public face addresses the broader community of schools in the immediate vicinity of the campus, especially Berwick Grammar – located across Tivendale Road to the college’s east. The long L-shaped form of the building constructs a new site frontage connecting the junior school precinct to the south of the campus with the existing double-storey science and humanities wing to the north. An important component of this arrangement is the lower scaled ‘Wudhu’ space where segregated ablutions take place in readiness for prayer.

The separation of levels enables the building’s public program to be functionally distinct from its student and education program. Connections between these levels are physically achieved with a tiered seating stair adjacent to the lecture theatre to the south and a glass-enclosed stair connected to the undercroft space to the north. Important visual (spatial) connections are achieved through a ‘student’s bridge’ which crosses at a high level through the double-height reception volume, and various ‘glimpse’ views across and down through the plan via internal windows and informal openings.

Services
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
Project Status

Completed 2019

Client

Minaret College